The Staffordshire theme park is currently undergoing the final preparations for Scarefest, which has been re-imagined this year to adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines.
There will be new well-ventilated outdoor scare attractions for both families and thrillseekers, the relocation and increased size of existing scare mazes, as well as fundamental changes to existing experiences to ensure they can operate safely.
Using professional scare actors within the mazes, Alton Towers is warning guests that the new style interactions and techniques will be employed to maintain a scary encounter in this year's attractions. Methods will include an emphasis on new-style jump scares – providing the illusion of closeness, while maintaining effective social distancing – as well as the use of theming and props to create a physical barrier and new set designs with social distancing in mind.
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Traditionally experienced by mixed groups of up to 14 guests, this year will see individual households – up to six people – experience the scare mazes alone. Adequate spacing will be given to each party on entry to the maze and guests will be reminded to maintain a safe distance when travelling through the attraction.
Unlike in previous years, Alton Towers Resort has confirmed that "no touching" will take place between actors and guests within the mazes. While the costume team have also designed and created more than 200 bespoke protective masks for each actor, which will feature as part of each actor's costume. All guests will be required to wear a face mask throughout each maze experience.
Chris Carter, head of entertainment and scares at Alton Towers Resort, said: "When designing this year’s Scarefest we have adopted tried and tested safety methods that we have successfully implemented on our rides and attractions since opening in July.
“Whilst the experience will be different to previous years, we are confident it will be equally intense whilst being safe.
"We have re-imagined and then re-designed the scare mazes to provide larger spaces for both our guests and actors and have worked hard to give the illusion of closeness whilst maintaining effective social distancing.
"We are really pleased with the results and know the experience will be equally intense.”
Scarefest runs at Alton Towers between October 9 and 11, and October 16 and November 1. For more information, or to book tickets, visit altontowers.com